A twenty two year veteran of the police force, Janice Cantore mixes reality with fiction in her third novel, Accused, the first of her Pacific Coast Justice trilogy.
Enjoy getting to know Janice!
What appeals to you most about writing fiction?
My imagination knows no bounds. I love playing the ‘what if’ game and figuring out different outcomes for situations. I try and keep up on crime stories and always find one or two that would lend itself to a great mystery/suspense novel.
Why Christian fiction?
Because I’ve been moved by books with a spiritual message and wanted to move others. Francine Rivers and Randy Alcorn are two authors who weave a spiritual message in through a story that I think is just awesome. I also wanted to write a book my aunt would read and hear the gospel because she was not a Christian and wouldn’t go to church. Unfortunately she died before my book was finished, but fortunately, she did come to know the Lord before her death. Besides, we are called to share the Good News of the gospel and I just find it easier to do that with a story.
Name five things you can’t live without
Bible, worship music, my dogs, coffee, kindle (with lots of books)
Favourite book ~ I have a lot of these, to pick one is difficult, but I’ll say Deadline by Randy Alcorn because it has everything, suspense and great theology
Favourite movie ~ A Christmas Carol (with Patrick Stewart)
Favourite TV show ~ right now it’s Castle (But Star Trek and X-Files always rank high)
Where is the most interesting place you have been?
I took a cruise to Alaska years ago and found every stop the ship made fascinating, and the trip went by too fast. I’d signed up for a kayaking tour and it was cancelled due to weather. I really wanted to take that tour! I have always wanted to go back and spend more time in that state.
What did you want to be when you grew up?
I wanted to be a writer!
How have you found the transition from police officer to novelist?
I started writing in my spare time before I retired, so retiring allowed me more time to do what I want. However, shortly after I retired, I had to move in to help my aging parents so it’s almost like being back at work and squeezing in time to write again.
What are the challenges female police officers continue to face in their work environment?
The biggest challenge to all officers is to stay in good physical shape and always be alert, never become complacent. In this day and age officers face threats from a lot of different directions. As I write this, 2012 is a little over a month old and already in the US 16 officers (4 women) have been killed in the line of duty, seven by gunfire. I don’t think the challenges that women face are any different then those that men face.
What are two things people might be surprised to know about you?
I love Star Trek, and playing gin rummy on the computer
What was your favourite scene to write in Accused or share your favourite paragraph (or both!)
The ending was my favourite because it made me smile. I enjoyed tying things up, but if I shared a passage with you it would be a spoiler!
No specific events are in the story but actual events inspired the story. I remember bodies being found in the trunks of cars once or twice while I was on the job. But the corruption in my story was strictly fictional, I was never aware of any thing like that going on in Long Beach.
Which character did you connect to the most?
Carly for sure, I wanted her to be a good, well-respected officer, which is what I tried to be. And her faith journey, while I wasn’t married and divorced, I have been betrayed before (hasn’t everyone?) so I know how difficult it can be to forgive sometimes and not let the hurt make you bitter.
Which character was the most difficult to write?
The bad guys. I was afraid that they would be caricatures, I hope that is not the way they turned out.
What is the underlying theme of Accused?
Forgiveness, often incredibly hard for us, but when God is added to the equation, very, very possible, and freeing.
What’s next in your writing pipeline?
There are two more books in the Pacific Coast Justice Series, Abducted will be out in the summer and the third as yet untitled book will be out next year. Beyond that I’m working on a proposal now for another book, this time with a homicide detective as the lead.